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Heat Pumps – Gas – Engine Driven

The gas engine drive heat pump operates in the same manner as an electric heat pump. That is, it uses a compressor to circulate a refrigerant to heat and cool. An important difference is the use of a gas engine rather than an electric motor to drive the compressor. A common complaint of electric heat pumps is the non-uniform heat they produce. The inverter effect created by the gas engine enables the gas heat pump to maintain the set temperature, delivering more even comfortable heat. Another difference is the elimination of CFC and HCFC-based refrigerants common to electric systems. The gas engine drive heat pump uses an HFC refrigerant that is not harmful to the ozone layer.

How It Works
The gas engine drive heat pump, like its electric counterpart, uses a vapor compression cycle driven by the gas engine (see Gas Engine Drive Chillers). The gas engine offers greater efficiency due to variable speed operation with the engine running at higher speeds when more heat is needed and at idle speed when less heat is required. Additionally, the engine in the gas heat pump is liquid cooled. Extracting this heat from the coolant helps to boost the efficiency of the equipment.

Efficiency
In heating mode, gas engine drive heat pumps achieve efficiencies of 126%. In cooling mode, the units operate at a SEER of 15.6. Sizes - Individual units range in size from 3 to 5 tons and 36,000 Btu/h to 85,000 Btu/h.